Things to do in Sydney this weekend

Find all the best events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Photograph: Robert Catto

Whether you’re in a partying mood or require some more subdued recreation, our weekend’s round-up of music, theatre, art and entertainment is sure to meet your leisure time needs. See some new creations at the fresh art exhibitions on this week or explore diverse flavours at Sydney’s best restaurants.

If all those warming winter dishes have taken their toll on your waistline, hit the tracks of Sydney’s best running routes.

RECOMMENDED: Where to go ice skating in Sydney.

What's on this weekend?


Hot Dub Time Machine

Sydney DJ Tom Loud will enthrall audiences with an audio-visual performance that explores decades of popular music past with encyclopedic accuracy and dedication. Living up to his party master reputation, the show will be coloured with confetti cannons, balloon drops, light shows and a visual event on the big screen. Melbourne based singer-songwriter Samsaruh will also lend her captivating vocals to the party at the two Enmore Theatre performances. 

The Enmore Theatre , Newtown Until Friday July 27 2018

Bondi Feast

Proving that the beach isn’t just for summer, the sixth Bondi Feast festival kicks off on July 17 with a jam-packed line-up. Over two weeks, Bondi Pavilion and surrounds will be transformed into a carnival playground, with more than 40 shows from the best home-grown performers, plus an old-fashioned parlour tent, art installations and a new pop-up restaurant. 

Bondi Pavilion , Bondi Beach Until Saturday July 28 2018

Beat the Bottle

If you have a passionate distaste for waste and love for interative music events, head to Parramatta for Beat the Bottle. These environmental crusaders are aiming to increase awareness about plastic pollution and encourage the community to get involved in tackling the problem. The day will be filled with beats by the Purple Sneakers DJs and local artists Junkyard Beats, who’ll also be leading attendees in a music workshop.

Sunday July 22 2018

Between Suns

Cement Fondu is one of Sydney's newest galleries, having only opened in March this year. Its next exhibition looks at the relationship between personal narratives and migrant communities and features video and installation works from five artists. James Nguyen, Khaled Sabsabi, Mona Ibrahim, Phaptawan Suwannakudt’s and Shivanjani Lal. The exhibition is showing alongside the Refugee Art Project.

Cement Fondu , Darlinghurst Until Sunday September 16 2018


From the trashy mind of John Waters comes this boldly subversive musical, based on his 1990 movie starring Johnny Depp. Under the new direction of Alexander Berlage, Cry-Baby is set in 1954 Baltimore and follows Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, the coolest teen in town, who falls for Allison, a rich girl who also happens to be a total square. She leaves her old life behind to become a "drape" at Cry-Baby's side.

Hayes Theatre Co , Elizabeth Bay Until Sunday August 19 2018

John Russell: Australia's French impressionist

Australian artist John Russell was a close friend of Van Gogh and Rodin, dined with Monet and was credited by Matisse for teaching him the basics of colour theory. Yet despite his talent and illustrious connections, few Australians have heard of him, let alone seen any of his work. This survey of his work is the first in 40 years, and brings together around a hundred of his painting and drawings.

Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Sunday November 11 2018

Sydney's Biggest Backyard on Show

Western Sydney Parklands has been keeping Sydneysiders entertained for 50 years. To celebrate, they’re inviting families and outdoors enthusiasts to a birthday bash of free activities across the 5,280 hectares of the park from July 20 until August 4. These include tours, astronomy nights, active adventures and an open day at Bungarribee with food trucks, tree planting and a visit from friendly zoo animals. 

Western Sydney Parklands , Horsley Park Until Saturday August 4 2018

Jazz in the Urban Jungle

Newtown hair salon A Loft Story have opened up their warehouse space on Lennox Street to local musicians through Airbnb’s initiative to support intimate gigs in unique venues. Over a series of Sundays, you can catch Tim Clarkson’s jazz trio for a three-hour set that includes a glass of bubbles in the $30 ticket price. The venue’s decked out in lush plants and antiques, which they’re calling an urban jungle.

A Loft Story , Newtown Until Sunday October 7 2018

Love Song Dedications (without Richard Mercer)

From 1997 until 2013, there was only one radio show to listen to when you were taking a solo drive through Sydney late at night: Richard Mercer's Love Song Dedications. But now that Mercer – aka the Love God – has officially retired, artists Tom Hogan and Bonnie Leigh-Dodds are reviving his legacy with this live performance at PACT. It'll see the pair search for the ultimate therapeutic playlist and greatest love song of all time.

PACT , Erskineville Until Sunday July 29 2018

NAIDOC Aboriginal Weaving Classes

Centennial Parklands is throwing a two-hour weaving workshop to teach you the art of basket making – a craft passed through the generations by Indigenous Australians across clan groups. The workshops cost $40 each, or you can opt to attend all four sessions for $150. You’ll learn what tools and resources you need to weave a container or basket, and you’ll hear about the historic use of native plants in the process. 

Centennial Park , Centennial Park Until Saturday July 28 2018

Lucia di Lammermoor

4 out of 5 stars

Donizetti’s tragedy has a fairly simple plot drawn from Scottish novelist Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor. Lucia’s brother Enrico has started losing his money and has a plan to marry off Lucia to the wealthy Arturo to secure the family’s fortunes. But what he doesn’t know is that Lucia is in love with Edgardo, his sworn enemy. Needless to say, there’s plenty of bloodshed by the end.

Sydney Opera House , Sydney Until Friday July 27 2018

Euphemia Bostock: Fashion Collection 1987

Bundjalung-Munajali woman Euphemia Bostock was a founding member, chairperson and the logo designer of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative. She has worked across a variety of media including textile, sculpture and printmaking since the ’60s. The Australian Design Centre is celebrating NAIDOC Week by exhibiting her hand-printed garments which were shown at the 1987 Au Printemps Department Store exhibition ‘Australis down under’ in Paris.

Australian Design Centre , Darlinghurst Until Sunday July 29 2018

John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new


Bark painting is among the most recognisable Aboriginal art, but you mightn’t know that it was only popularised in the 1930s. One of the greatest exponents of bark painting is John Mawurndjul, who rose to international fame in the late 1980s and ‘90s. The Kuninjku artist, based in Arnhem Land, is getting a major career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, made up of 165 works. 

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) , The Rocks Until Sunday September 23 2018

Top Dog Film Festival

This national festival of doggo-centric short films is getting two sessions – one at the Ritz, one at the Orpheum – screening a two-hour session of eight short films celebrating puppers of all shapes and sizes. Pooch-loving audiences will gain an insight into the life of an inspiring dog trainer; delve into the competitive dog grooming scene; meet a crew of disabled dog adorers; and enter the wild world of the wolf.

Ritz Cinema Randwick , Randwick Sunday July 29 2018

Spacemakers and roomshakers: installations from the collection

If you’ve ever walked the halls of the Art Gallery of NSW and smelt the scents of cumin, turmeric, paprika and cloves, you’ll be familiar with Ernesto Neto’s huge stalactite-like art installation Just like drops in time, nothing. Neto’s creation, alongside those by seven other contemporary installation artists, will be on show as part of the gallery’s new exhibition Spacemakers and Roomshakers, which brings together works that create an immersive experience. 

Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Sunday October 21 2018

Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren is one of France's leading contemporary artists and has exhibited work at an astonishing ten Venice Biennales. He's best known for his site-specific stripe installations, and there'll be glimpses of those stripes in the mammoth installation he's bringing to Carriageworks. 'Like Child's Play' features 100 oversized children's wooden block toys arranged into a colourful cityscape. It'll be a little like stepping into a Toy Story movie.

Carriageworks , Eveleigh Until Sunday August 12 2018

Unbroken Lines of Resilience: Feathers, Fibre, Shells

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. In this free exhibition, visitors can see the work of leading female practitioners in their fields of weaving and shell stringing. Works include includes intricate body wear and domestic fishing implements made from organic material, from artists including Lena Yarinkura, Dulcie Greeno, Maryann Sebasio, Muriel Maynard, Ais Bero, Lola Greeno, Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr and Rosemary Gamajun Mamuniny.

Australian National Maritime Museum , Darling Harbour Until Friday November 30 2018

Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic

This year’s tour recreates over 14 Disney favourites including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Frozen and many more.  Mickey Mouse will lead the show and a parade of characters including his friends Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and a band of Disney princesses. It'll be a ball for the kids or a chance for taller Disney fans to relive that childhood magic.

Qudos Bank Arena , Sydney Olympic Park Until Monday July 23 2018